Pentagon Suspends Deliveries Of F-35 Jets After Finding Chinese Made Component
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon has suspended deliveries of new Lockheed Martin's F-35 aircraft to the army after finding that a component of the jet uses an alloy made in China, which, according to a CNN report, and Interfax, violates federal defense procurement policies.
The component in question is a magnet that uses the Chinese-made alloy, which makes up part of an integrated power supply package. Lockheed Martin has found an alternative source for the alloy to use for future supplies, according to the Pentagon.
Lockheed Martin, the company that manufactures the aircraft notified the military about the compliance issue, and an investigation is currently being carried out regarding the Chinese-made alloy used in the component.
CNN reported that the Pentagon has not released any information about how many of the aircraft have been delayed due to the findings, out of the 153 F-35 fighter aircraft that are planned to enter into service in 2022.
Out of the 153 fighter jets, 88 have already been delivered, but will not be recalled due to the fact that the magnet does not "harm the integrity of the aircraft", "transmit information", or pose any "quality, safety, or security risks".
CNN released a video of Defense Department spokesperson Russ Goemaere saying, "We have confirmed that the magnet does not transmit information or harm the integrity of the aircraft and there is no performance, quality, safety, or security risks associated with this issue and flight operations for the F-35 in-service fleet will continue as normal".
A statement released by Lockheed Martin regarding the findings said, "We are working with our partners and DOD to ensure contractual compliance within the supply chain. The magnet has no visibility or access to any sensitive program information. The F-35 remains safe for flight and we are working with the DOD to resolve the issue as quickly as possible to resume deliveries".
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